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By Anna Murphy
New York, NY, USA

Anna Murphy
Anna Murphy

I recently bought something called "classtivity" which is a passport to ten different workout classes in the New York area. It's $50 so it really pays for itself in less than two sessions (one class is ~$30). Of course it seemed like I could/would use this passport before a month was over. But like all best made plans, this one fell through and I probably only did about five.

Well, the last week of February I realized the expiration date was near so I desperately signed up for whatever was available the next day. It was called 30/30 and was held in the UES (not the most convenient part of the city for me) at a location called Pedal NYC.

I felt mildly in shape after partaking in the various workouts that NYC had to offer – pilates, yoga, cycling, barre classes, to name a few – so I didn't really think much of this class described as "30 minutes of cycling, followed by 30 minutes of TRX." Nor did I stop to ponder what TRX might be. I just blindly hopped on a northern-bound train strapped into my giant puffer coat (the only thing that makes leaving the house/working out bearable) sans water bottle.

When I got there, I was greeted by the owner/trainer and summoned into the cycling room. I bought a water bottle at last minute thinking that might be a good idea. Good idea? After five minutes of warm up, I had nearly downed my bottle and the water was quickly transforming itself into pouring sweat.

The trainer was like a friendly drill sergeant. He yelled words of encouragement and got up close and personal so he could actually see if you were pedaling to full capacity. I loved/hated it. What made it better/worse was that there were six total people in the class so I couldn't get lost in the crowd.

Even though the room was dark and the jams bumpin', I couldn't help thinking that this must be what hell was like. I thought I was going to faint at times and just when I thought I couldn't push one more foot into a pedal, he would shout, "Stand Up! 10 More Seconds." Finally, it was over. But it really wasn't because we all had to do the second portion of the class.

I literally stumbled off my bike into the room next door. And there I found out that TRX involves resistance bands strapped to a wall. It's kind of like circuit strength/cardio. And depending on who you are, it might be equated to a torturing device.

If we thought the trainer was a tough cycling instructor, he really hit full stride when he got into the training room. I kept looking around thinking – Is anyone else feeling the way I do…as in near-death? I refilled my water bottle four times that hour. I remember vaguely thinking that if I didn't faint from exertion, I might drown myself from the amount of fluid I was guzzling.

During a massive physical/mental struggle to go from forearm plank to push up back to forearm plank for what seemed like the millionth time, I had a vision of what a pitiful sight I must be. My eyes were squeezed shut in pain, my entire body was trembling and I was making sounds that I've only ever heard in zoos or maybe on The Biggest Loser.  I was giving everything I had to this workout. And I needed it to end. But just when I thought I couldn't go on, the trainer appeared by my side, adjusted my position…and my attitude by telling me I could do it and that he was proud of me.

When it finally was over, I collapsed in an emotional/exhausted heap. I would never have said I was "out of shape" before, but this class (aka booty-kicking/best workout of my life) proved I had a way to go.

The endorphins that hit me afterward were indescribable and I felt like I could do anything. Pedal NYC's slogan goes, "Summer bodies are made in winter," and I think that's entirely true. So I'll be back before bathing suit season kicks into high gear. At least next time, I know what I'm getting into. 


NYC Jan-April: How Only the Strong Survive - Part I


Anna Murphy enjoys long runs along the Hudson River, live music, vegan cookies and the Florida Gators.

All opinions expressed by Anna Murphy are solely her own and do not reflect the opinions of Stay Thirsty Media, Inc.

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